For over 15 years, the Quiksilver King of the Groms has been bringing together the world’s top under-16 surfers in Capbreton, for what has become the leading international competition in its age category. The King of the Groms is where the stars of the future are born. Originally known as the Pro Junior (won by Miky Picon in his early days) when it was first created some 17 years ago, the competition changed names and became the Grommets Trophy (won by Jérémy Florès), before changing again in 2006, since when it has been called the King of the Groms.
This year, the competition also has a new format. Two dates for your diary:
– a European final in Capbreton from July 31st to August 3rd
– a world final in Hossegor during the Quiksilver Pro France from September 19th to 28th.
The European final: new for 2008
The European final is the latest addition of the 2008 edition of the King of the Groms. Some 13 dates are scheduled for the continental qualifying tournament. They will give 32 surfers the chance to win a place in the European final in Capbreton from 31 July to 3 August, a necessary step for anyone harbouring ambitions of reaching the international final in Hossegor, during the Quiksilver Pro France.
European qualifying dates:
France – 11 qualifiers
Saint Gilles Croix de Vie: 28/29 June (3 qualifiers)
Capbreton: 30 July (8 qualifiers)
UK – 6 qualifiers
Jersey – Saint Ouen’s: 14 /15 June
Newquay – Fistral Bay: 5/6 July (3 qualifiers)
Ireland – 2 qualifiers
Rossnowlagh Co Donegal: 28/29 June
Spain – 8 qualifiers
Doniños – Galicia: 28/29 June
Sopelana – Bizkaia: 12/13 July
Somo – Cantabria: 27/27 July
Italy – 1 qualifier
Viareggio: 15 June to 20 July
Holland – 1 qualifier
Hoek Von Holland: 28/29 June
Canaries – 1 qualifier
Lanzarote – Playa de Famara: 31 May
POSTPONED – Date to be confirmed
West Indies – 2 qualifiers
Martinique – Tartane: 18 May
Guadeloupe: 31 May
Saint Martin – Final: 14/15 June
European Final – 31 July to 3 August in Capbreton (France)
Note: Qualifications are reserved for residents of the host country only.
By the end of the European final on the famous beachbreak on the coast of south-west France, just two riders will be qualified for the world final of the Quiksilver King of the Groms set to take place in Hossegor during the Quiksilver Pro France 2008.
As in Europe, qualifying series will be held in various regions of the world. Chosen at the very best surf spots the planet has to offer, 13 surfers will qualify for a place in the world final of the King of the Groms, alongside the two European representatives.
For the first time, the international final of the King of the Groms will take place in Hossegor from September 19th to 28th, during the only French event on the elite ASP World Tour, the Quiksilver Pro France. The 16 international qualifiers will not only have the honour of surfing the same waves as their illustrious counterparts in the top 44, but will also get to admire their talents throughout the competition.
The winner of the grand final and the successor to Tamaroa McComb (TAH) – crowned King of the Groms 2008 – will win a wildcard to compete in the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast 2009 as well as the Quiksilver Pro France 2009. In 2007, the Tahitian received his prize from Jérémy Florès, after beating the Australian prodigy Garrett Parkes in the final.
Number of surfers qualified for the world final by country:
Australia – 3 qualifiers
USA – 3 qualifiers
California: 23 June
Florida – Sebastian Inlet: 7/8 June
Hawaii – Oahu: 9 June
Indonesia – 1 qualifier
Kuta Beach – Bali: 17 July
Kuta Beach – Final: 18/20 July
South Africa – 1 qualifier
Cape Town: 8/9 March
Mosseyl Bay: 14/15 June
Scottburgh: 16/17 August
Tahiti – 1 qualifier
Japan – 1 qualifier
Shizuoka: 19/20 July
Reunion – 1 qualifier
Brazil – 2 qualifiers
Santa Catarina: 17/18 May
Sao Paulo: 7/8 June
Europe – 2 qualifiers (following the European Final)
Wild Card – 1 qualifier (reserved for the hosts)
The wildcard goes to the Reunionese Maxime Huscenot.
Competitors already qualified for the international final
Australia: Max Ayshord – Matt Banting
New Zealand: Alex Dive
Tahiti: Yan Keoni (Quiksilver)
Portraits of the pretenders to the throne
Maxime Huscenot – France – 16 yrs old
Maxime grew up on the island of Reunion, where he developed a passion for the ocean and surfing.
Maxime achieved the best results in his category. All eyes will be on this rising star of French surfing who finished 7th at the ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in Seignosse last May.
Last week, Maxime won the Santa Surf Pro Junior 4* in Tenerife and just took the ASP European Junior rating’s lead. Maxime has now a serious chance of becoming the 2008 ASP Junior Champion. This year he will be one of the leading contenders, hoping to emulate his idols during the international final in Hossegor.
Dimiti Ouvré – France – 16 yrs old
Originally from Guadeloupe, Dimitri joined the France Surf academy in Bayonne. He is a radical surfer who loves the air, and has perfect mastery of modern moves like the air reverse.
Ramzi Boukhiam – Morocco – 14 yrs old
This Agadir-born surfer is nicknamed “Ramzouille”, and was the Moroccan champion in 2004, 2005 and 2008. He also reached the round of eight in the 2006 King of the Groms, and was knocked out in the 4th round of last year’s event by the eventual winner.
At the tender age of 14, Ramzi is a pro when it comes to the rollers, and will be hoping his famous aerials can take him into the last four of the competition this year.
Vixente Romero – Spain – 16 yrs old
This young Spanish surfer has undoubted talent. With a calm appearance, once in the water Vicente displays astonishing ease and technical ability.
He performs incredible moves with a very modern, aerial surfing style. As an ambitious young man, he has what it takes to realise his aims,
as evidenced by his 3rd place at the 2007 King of the Groms.
This year’s Quiksilver King Of The Groms, where budding talents are discovered, promises a spectacle worthy of the greats.